The English Football Association denied Nigeria international Ogenyi Onazi a work permit to play for English Championship side Birmingham City.
Reports claim an appeal made by the club was rejected on Wednesday despite Onazi being a regular in the Nigeria national team.
Earlier on, Birmingham had agreed terms with the former SS Lazio midfieder to sign him from Turkish club Trabzonspor.
Onazi has played 38 times for the Super Eagles and helped them to win the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations and reach the last 16 of the World Cup in Brazil a year later.
However Nigeria’s failure to qualify for the past two editions of the Nations Cup has affected his chances of securing a work permit to play in the English Championship.
Despite appearing in over 80% of the national team games, Onazi failed to earn a permit after the FA considered the West African nation’s world ranking in the past two years.
Nigeria is ranked 38th in the August 2017 ranking, but Nigeria finished 54th on aggregate over the past two years.